NYC newspaper office defends itself from riot with machine guns


July 13, 2008, 07:04 PM
Your pardon if this was posted previously or if I was the last one to know. I couldn't find a reference to it anywhere else.

I'm still researching but apparently during the New York City draft riots at the beginning of the Civil War, the New York Tribune offices were attacked. The mob:

". . . was turned back at the New York Tribune office by staff manning two Gatling guns."

I guess those newspaper folks and their descendants emigrated New York after the war. ;)


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chris in va
July 13, 2008, 07:21 PM
Nothing says 'Get Lost' like a pair of gats.

Oh wait, wrong ones.

July 14, 2008, 12:14 AM
You're having trouble finding it because Wikipedia has several details wrong. It was the Daily Times (now the Times), not the Tribune that had the guns.
"In July 1863, during the draft riots in New York City, three Gatling guns were set up at the offices of the New York Times, whose editor, Henry Jarvis Raymond, was an outspoken opponent of the rioters' anti-draft sentiments. The mob approached the Times but backed off when it saw the guns"
"During the riots of July 13-14,1863, Raymond defended the offices of the Times himself, armed with a Gatling gun at the front entrance, "commanding Park Row to the north" (224)."
Mobs riot in New York to protest the draft; more than 100 are killed. The Times, pro-union and anti-slavery, is a leading target. Its Park Row building is defended by Raymond and others with rifles and Gatling guns; mobs attack the Tribune building instead.
"While others cowered in fear of mob violence, Henry Jarvis Raymond, editor of the New York Times and a prominent Republican politician, was prepared to fight. Daily, he blasted the mob in flaming editorials in the Times. Brightly illuminated by night, its plate glass windows gleaming a challenge to the mob, the imposing Times Building, an arrogant symbol of wealth, seemed to dare the rioters to attack. Raymond, who advised 'Give them grape (shot), and plenty of it.' was quite ready to do so. Inside the two northern windows, commanding the most likely avenues of attack were mounted Gatling Guns, manned by Raymond himself and Leonard Walter Jerome, a major stockholder of the New York Times (and future grandfather of Winston Churchill). A third Gatling was on the roof of the building, in position to sweep the streets below. The entire staff of the newspaper had been equipped with rifles and stood ready for the attack that might have come at any moment. The Times was waited for the mob-Messrs. Raymond and Jerome probably would have like nothing better than a chance to play Gatling music for the rioters’ edification-but the attack never came. Learning that the Timesmen were well armed, the mob directed its attentions elsewhere. As it was to do many times in future years, the Gatling Gun had served well-without firing a shot."

July 14, 2008, 12:31 AM
Thanks Vodka7! Very good info.

July 14, 2008, 12:38 AM
It's always a sad state when Americans shoot Americans during times of political upheaval. Those times in history should teach us to resolve domestic political differences by other means, and save the bullets for criminals.

July 14, 2008, 12:55 AM
Something's wrong on Wikipedia? I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked!

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